Kenneth on Games: Grinding in “Pokemon Go”

It’s rare to see a game as divisive as Pokemon Go. Half of its players say that this is the game that will save the world. The other half would burn Niantic at the stake with their own overheated servers. Even though the game has been successful in terms of numbers and statistics, players are starting to see the cracks through the nostalgia glasses. Once the magic fades, it seems all that’s left is a long grind. How could this be solved?

Kenneth on Games: Randomness in “XCOM: Enemy Unknown”

A week ago, I picked up XCOM: Enemy Unknown when it was on sale. I haven’t put it down since. Why is this game so fun despite being built almost completely off of a random number generator? As far as I’m concerned, Invisible Inc proves that you don’t need a percent hit chance to make the XCOM formula work. But this got me thinking: what would actually happen if XCOM removed randomness? What consequences would this change have on the rest of the system?

Kenneth on Games: Consistency in “Pyre”

I’ve never really been big on sports, but when the world gets in an uproar about Iceland vs. England, even game designers should be taking note. Why is it that soccer can stay the same for hundreds of years, but every online game nowadays needs to be patched every few months? As it turns out, controlling a physical body rather than a digital avatar actually makes a big difference. And what would be a better way to analyze that difference than to compare Iceland vs. England to Supergiant’s surprise sports game, Pyre?